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U.S. takes aim at organized crime in latest sanctions marking democracy summit -Breaking

© Reuters. Osiris Luna Meza, security vice-minister and participant in the news conference held at Izalco prison during a 24 hour lockdown ordered after high numbers of murders. This was part of the quarantine that prevents the spread of coronavir.

WASHINGTON (Reuters), Wednesday’s United States sanctions targeted dozens across Europe and the Western Hemisphere. The sanctioning was imposed on El Salvador officials in connection with alleged talks between the MS-13 gang, and an organized crime organisation based out of northern Kosovo.

According to the U.S. Treasury Department, Wednesday’s announcement, which was the latest in a string of sanctions announcements that marked the week of President Joe Biden’s democracy summit, focused on corruption networks related to transnational criminal activity through the identification of 16 individuals as well as 24 entities.

According to the Treasury, it issued a statement saying that sanctions were imposed on Osiris Luna Méza (chief of the Salvadoran Penal System and vice minister of justice and public security) and Carlos Amilcar Marroquin Chica (chairman of the Social Fabric Reconstruction Unit).

The officials were accused of organizing, leading and facilitating secret meetings with members of gangs in El Salvador as part of El Salvador’s effort to “negotiate secret truce with gang leaders.”

The Treasury stated in a statement that an investigation of officials of El Salvador’s Government and detained leaders of gangs such as Treasury-designated Mara Salvatrucha 13(MS-13) has exposed covert negotiations between the government and the criminal group.

Zvonko Veselinovic (Kosovan Gang Leader) and his brother were also included in the list. The Treasury charged them with having made deals to support their party’s election victory and provide money for the candidates.

According to the Treasury, in exchange, they would award the brother the most prestigious infrastructure contracts.

Numerous other individuals and entities associated with the group were also included in this blacklist, along with some of Veselinovic’s associates.

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Mike Robinson
Mike covers the financial, utilities and biotechnology sectors for Street Register. He has been writing about investment and personal finance topics for almost 12 years. Mike has an MBA in Finance from Wake Forest University.